Thursday, May 17, 2012

I'm sitting here at work, feeling completely devastated and defeated and I'm certain it's the Devil stealing my joy from my refinance post.

The day didn't start off this way.

Isaac slept so well last night and woke up just as I was leaving the house. I grabbed him and loved the couple of cuddled minutes we spent as he allowed me to hold him. He told me I looked pretty and I could have nearly skipped to my vehicle, as I thought about how I was going to share the success we've had this week in applying Love and Logic principles at home and how extremely well it's been going for us.

We were going from catastrophic meltdowns nightly to controlled and fun bed time.

But Isaac is continuing to act out at my Mom's, even with the tactics I've shared that are working for us from the book.

This morning she emailed me to question if we've considered my just quitting now.

I've tried to be very honest with my Mom, so that she knows how much we value and appreciate her caring for the boys and how it impacts our financial goals, so I was very surprised she even asked. It's just not an option right now, that's the whole point of paying down our expenses.

She's proceeded to email me throughout the whole day on any given number of things, but largely how much of a toll it is on her to care for Isaac and that she is concerned for his well being. She feels inadequate to care for him, but insists that no one else can take him as she's certain he'd be abused. She's adamant that he's one of the most difficult children she's ever cared for, in her 20 years of experience, with the only comparable being an extremely ADHD child. And she's not the only one, I've had blog friends emailing me questioning if Isaac hasn't been exhibiting behavior disorders.

In my heart of hearts, I think Isaac is just a very verbal three year old challenging authority, but . . .

This of course leaves us with a predicament, as her only proposed solution is that I quit.

And I can't.

To my core, I feel defeated and sick. All this boy needs is me and I can't give him that.

Just pray, because really, that's all that can be done. I don't have all of the answers, but He does.


Anonymous said...

Oh, Leah. My heart goes out to you. I've been following your blog for about a month now, but have been a "silent" follower.

I'm not a mother, and don't have any children, so I can't offer any sage words of wisdom. What I can do is echo your sentiment that He has a plan...and let you know that even if we're strangers in this world, we're sisters in Him and I'll be praying for you. Hoping that it gives you some comfort, as I'm sure many others are doing the same.

Molly said...

I swear, sometimes we are just on the same wavelength. I want to quit on the daily! On one hand I feel like God would provide for us somehow but on the other I feel like it would result in our financial ruin. So much turmoil in my head because of this debt reduction. It is so good but in another way it really lets you see where you and how far you have to go.

I'm sorry Isaac is so difficult. I don't even want to talk about the tantrums Landon gives us these days. It is strange that you should call this post "defeated" as I was just telling Naaman that that is how I would describe how I feel every single day. I feel defeated as a wife. Defeated as a parent. Defeated as a human being. It's an awful way to live.

This relying on God thing is still so new to me but I try to look for Him when I get so overwhelmed or when it feels like there is no way our situation could change. You just never know what He has in store for us.

You should chat with me on FB. We really do have a lot in common!

Leah @ ThreeFites said...

I'm so sorry for this struggle you're going through. Just think about the light at the end of your tunnel and that you DO have an end in sight. You'll reach a goal that most of us working mothers will never be able to achieve. Hang in there!

Anonymous said...

I so sorry you're going through this. You have so much patience! I hope things get better for you and Isaac.

kari said...

I don't know what you are going through, but I want you to know that we are praying for you, Isaac, and your Mom. He does have a plan, Leah. Hang in there.

LC said...

I don't know what to say other than I'm so sorry that you are going through this and I'll definitely be praying for you guys. I tend to think most things are "just a phase" but of course, interventions need to be done to help kiddos get through a phase. Thinking of you.

emilyhansen said...

I'll take him! Bring him o'er North. You know we love us some Love and Logic!

Or- let's chat about being a one income family :)

Love you friend!

LisaJ said...

I have been a long time follower but rarely comment. For the sake of your mother, you, Isaac, and your whole family, have you talked to your dr about this. As a parent we like to chalk everything up to being just a phase, but sometimes it is more than that. Maybe it is just a phase, but maybe something is going on behaviorly, emotionally, socially or physically. Maybe he is acting out because something is bothering him. If your own mother is pointing it out its because she's worried and loves you. She might be seeing something you don't.

Blue-Eyed Bride said...

Hey Leah. I'm so sorry you are going through this. I'm not going to attempt to offer any advice because I know that too much advice gets overwhelming. I don't know Isaac other than what you tell us about him, so it would be hard to know what exactly he's doing. But I can tell you that parenting worries, fears, and guilt are the worst and most consuming kind. I know exactly how you feel there. And I am praying for you. This post broke my heart because you deserve to be happy and it is so obvious that your babies' happiness is the most important to you. I know that God is going to get you through this and help you figure it all out. He provides. He always does. Big hugs!!

Anonymous said...

Oh girl, I feel you about the challenging child. My son is quite a handful at times and I totally get what you say about if he was taken care of by someone else they might abuse him. Totally get it. And Molly's post above describes how I feel lately...defeated all around. We are all there with ya. Hugs.

Lori said...

No words of advice, just wanted you to know I'm praying.

Ann said...

I think there are probably solutions other than you quitting. Can you start him in a half-day program somewhere to get your mom a break?

Also, I know that you really feel that he is just a challenging 3 year old and he most likely is, but you could check with the school district or your local ECFE for some resources. They may be able to have you meet with someone to get an evaluation. Even if they find no evidence of a behavior disorder, and we pray that they don't, they can help you find some strategies to work with his behavior. A lot of times you start with just chatting with an educator over the phone, so it's not a pressure situation and won't go on his record.

We called about our son's speech and it was wonderful to have some support and gain new strategies. We didn't need further evaluations as he didn't end up having problems, but it really put my mind at ease. Plus, if they had found issues we would have been addressing them right away which can make a huge difference in treatment and their development.

Just a thought, good luck! I'll be praying for you as this sounds so hard.

Mo said...

Just two question for you to ponder regarding staying at home... (1) when all is said between you and God... what do you think He's calling you to do? (2) Will your decision to continue to work NOW, help or hinder your relationship with God and your relationship with your boys/husband?

Amy said...

I'm sorry, I know it must be hard to hear that from your mom but I'm sure it's different for her being that it's her grandchild and not a 'stranger's child if that makes sense!

I can imagine how stressful it is but as someone who has worked with kids this age (and i have my own 2.5 yr old who we are struggling with right now), it goes get better! I also know how much guilt you can have when you work as I've been there many times but what if you quit and are still having the same issues? What about a reward system? Is he hitting other kids or just not listening?

It's so funny in some ways...I used to teach preschool (my kids were 2 and 3) and i had discipline DOWN.My kids listened and I felt in control. Now, I have my own kid and it's so.much.different, like everything I've ever learned in school or in the classroom goes right out the door :)

The Slacker Mom said...

Oh. This is so tough. I can't imagine the pressure you must feel. You are going to get through it, you will all figure it out together and you will do whatever it is that needs to be done to get there.

I didn't think I could leave Target. We talked about 2 years down the road, 5 years down the seemed impossible. Then the boys were diagnosed and that decision was made for me. I put in an 8 week notice. Then our nanny was hospitalized for a month and I just pulled the plug right then. I still had 2 months to work, 2 months to figure out how we were going to swing it, 2 months of paychecks we really needed but I ended up calling and putting in my notice that day.

I jumped. We took a chance. 16 months later we have never been in better shape financially and the stress level in our house is at an all-time low (not to mention I get to be home with my boys).

You have been a great encouragement to me to trust that things will work out exactly how they should. I'll be thinking of you and praying that the solutions are clear.

Janell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeannie said...

Oh Leah, my heart goes out to you. Although I've only been back to work for 2 days, I find my self wanting to quit It's one of toughest dilemmas in a mothers life; I'm very certain of that.

I'm so sorry there are struggles with Isaac and in time, He will guide you with the right decisions.

Helen Joy said...

That is just the most frustrating thing! I'm so sorry! I did want to let you know that my little 3 year old Barclay was acting up SO much. The only word to describe it was debilitating. It got so bad that leaving the house was a 2 hour ordeal because of tantrums and fits. I took him to a counselor, because I was actually worried him might kill his little brother (I was counting one day and it was like 154 times that he had hit or tried to hurt Sullivan).
I felt very sad, very hurt, very hopeless. I felt like a terrible mom, I was defensive all the time because people had opinions about why he was acting so badly.
Deep in my mama's heart, I knew something just wasn't right. I know there's normal, 3 year old, boundary testing, willful behavior but I honestly believed that that wasn't 100% of Barclay's problem.
I went on a quest. I read all kinds of books about behavior, I started implementing a lot of Dr Sear's discipline book. I made sure to count down for every new situation and warn like 3 times before trying something new. It all helped, but he was still out of control.
Finally I found a good pediatrician who listened to me. We figured out that he was SEVERELY intolerant to gluten. He isn't Celiacs, but we cut out gluten from his diet and literally within 2 days, there was a DRASTIC difference in his behavior.
Sorry that this is so long but I want to encourage you to maybe try getting him off gluten just in case. Of course we still have regular and hard 3 year old acting out, but for the most part it has made a drastic difference.

Helen Joy said...

PS-I have heard A LOT of stuff about ADHD and Autism being "cured" by illuminating gluten. They were looking at some of those diagnosis for Barclay before we took him off gluten.

Ashley said...


I don't know all of Isaac's issues, but Liam is a strong-willed child and it had worn us out some (most) days. It sounds like our approaches to discipline might be different than yall's (we don't go the "logic" route so much), but Liam's bottom line issue is testing authority. We've had to be incredibly consistent in how we handle him so he knows that WE are in charge. I know you and Tony are passionate parents who adore your kids. Praying for wisdom for y'all!

Jen said...

Is there any pattern to the misbehaviors or is it just problems dealing with authority? I've noticed that my 3.5 year old Carter tends to have more behavior issues when he's bored or not feeling mentally challenged or if he needs more physical activity.
It's a challenge for me to come up with a balance of activities on the days we don't have preschool.
One of the big things we've been working on this year with Carter is approriate ways to express emotions.
My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Sara said...

You are all in my thoughts; this has to be so difficult for all of you!! Things will look up and get better, but I know that's easy for me to say....

You are such a strong person; I know you guys will make it through!

sunshineyou said...

I would talk with your pediatrician. I have a 3.5 year old and he is difficult to handle sometimes, but mostly I believe that it's an age/phase thing. He's trying to test his authority compared to ours, and trying to figure out his boundaries/limits. He is very, very strong willed and it's hard to deal with sometimes. I would read up on behavior/what a normal 3-4 yr. old should be experiencing. ECFE has a lot of information, so check their website. It's where I found a great resource for knowing where one should be, emotionally/physically/socially, etc. (what's normal behavior for this age). Isaac might just be testing your mom because she's so familiar.

Lukesmommy25 said...

Have you looked into there being a possible food dye sensitivity? My niece has this problem, she was always very difficult and threw a lot of tantrums, until they took her off food dye. Red dye #40 is her worst, but she does best when all dyes are out of her diet. It may sound crazy, but be dillegent about taking the dyes out and you may notice a difference. Dr. Sears has a book called the NDD Book that you can read all about it. Hope this helps!

Kelly said...

I think you need to look into some alternate daycare options for Isaac. Your mom is telling you that she can't handle him anymore. You should listen, or risk your relationship with your mom and her care for Ezra and future babies too.


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